I’m at the grocery store, cutting it dangerously close to dinnertime. I wander the aisles with curiosity, which very surprisingly and suddenly turns to a heaviness within. At once, more than just dinner is on my mind. I am painfully and fully aware of every ounce of self-doubt, inadequacy and failure in my life. In that moment, I am not good enough in any way—not healthy enough, not clean enough, not pretty enough, not talented enough in the kitchen, not a good enough wife, not good enough at my work, not good enough at taking care of my dog. I am absolutely sidelined with the weight of these lies as they sink deeper and deeper into my heart, which is rapidly believing that they are true.
The dinner verdict? Bread with oil and vinegar, plus a side salad. A very sad attempt of not completely failing at my task that evening. A simple, cheap, and honestly, pretty inadequate dinner for my 6’9″ husband. Inadequate like the rest of my life, or so I believed at the moment.
How do we move forward once we’ve let ourselves believe the lies in our head? How do we say no to the lies and say yes to the truth? How do we come to accept that we can’t do it all? How do we let some inadequacies be okay, while stepping it up in other areas we’ve been truly slacking in? Forget doing it all—how do we just get by? These are the questions that plagued my heart all night.
I live such a blessed life—I have a loving husband, dream jobs, a flexible schedule, a beautiful home in a city I love. How dare I think my life is hard? How dare I even shed a tear to suggest that my “responsibilities” are too much to bear. My problems are nothing compared to those that others have. Forget making a meal–some people sift through the trash for dinner. Some people don’t even have clean water to drink. I not only felt the weight of my failures and the pressure of perfection weighing on me, but also the guilt of having those feelings in the first place. Guilt is always the icing on the cake in my personal crises.
The lies in your head might be different than the lies in my head—but the reality is, we all tell ourselves lies. And no matter how many days or weeks or months we’ve fended off those sneaky falsehoods, one second of letting them in can completely derail us, causing us to question everything about who we are, what we’ve accomplished and where we’re going in life. In light of the heavy feelings within, I had a much-needed cry—first by myself on the couch, then in the arms of my husband. It felt awful at first, as it usually does at the start of a lot of tears, but by the end I felt lighter, less burdened, relieved.
When I had no more tears to cry, I took several deep breaths and decided to move on. Do I need to potentially make some changes in how I’m doing things? Sure. But am I a total failure at life and completely inadequate in every way? Certainly not. I decided that the lies could win the battle, but not the war. The lies had an hour of victory, totally convincing me of why I’m the worst—but that’s all they got, and that’s a win in my book.
This isn’t the first time the lies have taken over, and I know it won’t be the last. The same is true for you, I’m sure. But my prayer is that our moments of weakness—when we give in to the whisper of lies in our head and let them turn into loud shouts we can’t ignore—will be fewer and further between.
What lies do you believe about yourself? How do you recover from times when you believe the lies in your head?
Photo snapped during a trip to Nashville.
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This is part of the Love Yourself Linkup—an ongoing series by women around the web focusing on self image and body image. In our posts, we will talk about our thoughts on these subjects, tell stories of our personal experience, share what has inspired us, challenged us, and more. Read my previous posts in the series here, and join the conversation by hitting “click here to enter” below.